Events, In the News, New Content

Triton spreads Random Acts of Kindness

Newbury Elementary School PTA (NES PTA), Pine Grove School PTA (PGS PTA), and Salisbury PTA (SES PTA) AKA Triton PTAs have been collaborating to help spread Random Acts of Kindness. This project has encouraged youth to think about how they can make a positive impact in their community, shows youth that adults care about them, and helps bring the community together.

Salisbury Elementary PTA president, Jen Roketenetz, said this activity is bringing out the best in her community. “We have been having so much fun collaborating on this project each week. Peeps that live in our community are just inherently kind, we are simply giving them an opportunity to shine!This project is intended not just for kids, not just for grown ups, not just for Triton- it’s for all of  us to enjoy a kind act bestowed and to bestow. Each week’s initiative is intended to be simple and achievable for all – try it on, we know kind looks good on everyone!”

You can support this initiative by liking one or all of our PTAs on Facebook or follow all the Triton Random Acts of Kindness on Facebook!

You can participate too!  Show someone you care by helping them out, or simply saying thank you.  Small gestures go a long way.  Take a picture and share with the group.  Help spread the word that kindness works!  You can reach out to any of the PTA’s if you have an idea or want to be connected to this great initiative.

Some examples of these projects can be found below.

  • I printed and shared the RAK Cards with my 2nd grade Brownie Troop, just one day later they are asking for more 🙂 My daughter, Lucy, shared hers in her classroom and by the end of the day it made thru the hands of each student! Awesomeness!
  • One “Mimi” decided to treat ALL the nail technicians in the salon to a $20 tip!
  • Michael C stopped by the book fair to thank Mrs. Chalifour for all her hard work.
  • In honor of yesterday’s act of kindness suggestion  Mrs. Pacenka’s  5th grade generated a list of ways to be kind to their neighbors. I know many of them have big helpful plans for the future.
  • I was just talking to a PGS parent who mentioned that Mrs. Coppola sent this home with all her students as a way to spread RAKs…it really is contagious!
  • SES PTA did a little sprucing up in the restrooms – hope your kiddos love them!

#TritonKind #BeYourBestViking

Michael C stopped by the book fair to thank Mrs. Chalifour for all her hard work.
In honor of yesterday’s act of kindness suggestion Mrs. Pacenka’s 5th grade generated a list of ways to be kind to their neighbors. I know many of them have big helpful plans for the future.
I was just talking to a PGS parent who mentioned that Mrs. Coppola sent this home with all her students as a way to spread RAKs…it really is contagious!
Sprucing up the bathrooms

In the News, New Content, Things to Do, Uncategorized

Little Free Library: Helping Build Neighborhood Communities

49% of youth in our region feel as though they live in a caring neighborhood environment. Research shows that young people are more likely to be successful and feel loved if they grow up in a supportive neighborhood. Summertime is an excellent opportunity to host neighborhood gatherings and start playgroups where your children can get to know their neighbors and build friendships. By reaching out to your neighbors and forming a community, it’s easier to feel comfortable letting your children play outside and hang out with neighborhood children.

One way to encourage youth (and adults) to establish a neighborhood community and read for pleasure is by taking part in or starting your own Little Free Library! Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Visiting a little free library or starting your own helps promote assets like establishing a caring neighborhood environment where young adults can get to know their neighborhoods through a shared passion of reading.

To find a Little Free Library near you visit:

Community Partners, Events, In the News, Things to Do

National Night Out: Salisbury Police Station

The Salisbury Police Force is hosting a National Night Out On Tuesday, August 7th from 5:00-7:00pm! National Night Out fosters police and community partnerships to create safe and caring neighborhood environments. It provides an opportunity for community members to build relationships with law enforcement officers. There will be Police Station Tours, Touch a Truck, music and food!

This event helps build many of the 40 Developmental Assets® in youth. For instance, it provides young people with local police officers who can serve as adult role models, modeling responsible and positive behavior. This community-building initiative also helps build the assets of establishing a caring neighborhood and strong neighborhood boundaries. Events like this will help young people know that the community values them by creating meaningful relationships between law enforcement and families.

Click HERE to view the flyer for this awesome, asset building event!

Community Partners, Events, In the News, New Content, Things to Do

Georgetown Rocks Project

This past May, 6th graders at the Penn Brook Elementary School in Georgetown created a Kindness Garden as their gift to the school.  Youth and their families were invited to an evening event where they could paint rocks together that reflect the CARES values. Penn Brook Principal, Margaret Maher explained, “It will be a “growing garden,” as families can continue to add their own rocks.” This project created an opportunity to build the CARES values of Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-Control though youth and adults working together to create positive messages to share with their school and greater Georgetown community.  It is a great way for the youth to give back and feel like they can leave a positive impact for returning students.

In addition to highlighting values, this project is a great example of how Georgetown is currently building Developmental Assets® for their youth.  By creating a caring school climate, fostering creativity, supporting family involvement, promoting compassion, this project demonstrates how the Georgetown community truly values youth.  This past year, Georgetown started a partnership with the Essex County Asset Builder Network to help create and expand supports and opportunities for youth in the community.

In the News, New Content, Things to Do, Uncategorized

Building Stronger Family Communication

The Community Call to Action meetings sparked discussions about ways to promote positive family communication. Youth revealed statistics on youth behaviors and attitudes, including that 84% of youth in the region feel that their families provide high levels of love and support. Meanwhile, only 41% of youth feel that they communicate well with their parents. In this question, students were asked if they feel as though they could talk to their parents about tough topics or reach out to parents for advice on relationships, drinking, etc. The resulting conversation led to defining what positive family communication looks like and the difference between feeling loved and establishing positive communication channels between parents and children.

In our busy, 21st century culture of over packed schedules and constant technology, it can be difficult to find time to communicate with children in healthy ways. Positive family communication can lead to stronger relationships where children feel comfortable sharing their feelings and seeking guidance from parents. This TIME article provides suggestions on how to establishment positive communication rituals.

Here’s some information about the asset, Positive Family Communication and some ideas on how to build it in your home:

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who experience positive communication with their parents are more likely to grow up healthy and are more willing to seek their parents’ advice and counsel. About 28 percent of young people, ages 11–18, enjoy positive communication with their parents and are willing to seek their parents’ counsel and advice, according to Search Institute surveys. Practice consistently communicating—talking and listening to young people—with an open mind and heart.

Tips for building this asset

Positive communication also means listening to understand a young person’s perspective, not to advocate your position. Be available when young people need you—and even when they think they don’t. Take good care of yourself so when your children want to talk, you can give them your full attention.

Also try this

In your home and family: Make it easy for your child to spend time talking with you: Keep an extra stool or chair in the kitchen, den, home office, or workshop area. When you’re in the car together is a great time to chat, too.

In your neighborhood and community: Ask young people you know caring questions, such as: What was the best thing about school today? What was the best act in the talent show? Why? Listen to their answers and respond accordingly.

In your school or youth program: During parent meetings, discuss the importance of positive communication between parents and children.


In the News

College or Not: Time to talk to youth about reality

A first great Call to Action Meeting in Georgetown last night with 25 concerned community adults opened conversation on the topic of pressure.  Pressure youth feel, whether internally or externally to succeed; to do well; to never fail; to get to Harvard.  All expectations, whether real or perceived create a narrative youth feel they must live up to.  What are we doing as adults youth look up to to bring reality to these perceptions?

Are all students going to go to Harvard?  No

Are all students going to go to college? No

Are there many different life paths that can lead to a successful, fulfilling, happy life?  YES

If we know the answer to be YES, why are we afraid to have that conversation with the youth in our lives? How might we be impacting them by not discussing alternative options to college? What about technical schooling, a year off, a community college, an internship to leads to a job?  All of these can lead to success if the youth is interested and engaged.  We don’t make all students try out for the basketball team or be in the school band because we know youth have different interests and strengths.  Why then are we trying to fit all students down one path to college?

This TIME article dives into this important topic and offers some enlightening ideas and perspectives.  A must read.


In the News

Youth first to review survey data

This past fall, students from Amesbury, Georgetown, Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury and Newburyport took the Attitudes and Behavior Survey. The survey measured the number of supports youth have to help them thrive and potential risk behaviors.  The data from this survey helps us understand strengths and needs of young people in our communities and in the region.

Youth representing each of these towns came together in February to be the first to review the survey results.  Participants were taught about the 40 Developmental Asset® framework, the positive youth development model, and were asked to share their ideas about how youth and adults can work together to create more opportunities, supports and connections between youth and the community.  They came away from the experience feeling that their voices were heard and that they could make a positive impact in their community.  “All communities have similar problems and we need to work together to make a change…I have the power to make change,” commented one participant.

Following this event, the participants will meet to create a presentation that will be given in each community in early April.  All community members will be invited to attend.  This will be the first opportunity for each community to hear the regional results of the survey from the youth themselves.  Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss next steps and future opportunities.

This event was hosted by the Essex County Asset Builder (ECAB) Network. This Network is a new initiative that joins together the communities of Amesbury, Georgetown, Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury and Newburyport to help develop leadership, problem-solving, and social engagement skills for young people. Having these skills can encourage healthy decision making and promote positive social change.

Keep an eye out for announcement about the presentation in your community.  For more information about the presentations, 40 Developmental Assets®, and the Essex County Asset Builder Network visit

In the News

New Research on Vaping

There is a new article out in the NYT about research on vaping.

Vaping Can Be Addictive and May Lure Teenagers to Smoking, Science Panel Concludes

Some of the main points include:

  • Vaping with e-cigarettes that contain nicotine CAN be addictive and that teenagers who use the devices MAY be put at higher risk of switching to traditional smoking.
  • They saw a correlation that youth who smoked e-cigarettes were more likely to try a traditional cigarette at some point, but there is no evidence to suggest whether this traditional cigarette was a one-time occurrence or a habit.
  • My main take away here that I think could resonate with students is that nicotine is addictive no matter what form it comes in, traditional or e-cigs, and that e-cigs do contain nicotine.
  • Of note, they also did show evidence that e-cigarettes are more safe than traditional cigarettes for long term smokers, but did not have research on long term evidence of smoking e-cigarettes. It is important to know all points of the argument and give the youth accurate information.

Also of note:

Currently, FDA regulates what goes into all tobacco products (as of 2016), including e-cigs. READ MORE

As of July 2017- FDA wants to regulate level of nicotine in tobacco products but this is not final yet. READ MORE

In the News

State approves new draft regulations for marijuana

The Cannabis Control Commission recently approved a new draft of the regulations around licensing, growing, distributing and consuming marijuana.  Regulations include permission for sale of marijuana in local businesses such as yoga studios and restrictions around edibles and advertising.  You can read the full article here.

These draft regulations will be open for public review and comment at public hearings which will occur in February before final rule approval March 15.